Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Top 10 pet Friendly Cities Continued...

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If you're a baseball fan, diarize the White Sox annual Dog Day baseball game each spring. This cosmopolitan city has lots of pet-friendly places to visit, a wide selection of outdoor cafes and pet-friendly bars. Upscale hotels such as the luxurious Hotel Burnham and Hotel Monaco both welcome dogs of all sizes. Lake Michigan, a focal point of the city, offers more than 18 miles of paved trails that trace the lake’s edge. Want to take a lake cruise? Many boat operators will happily take Fido along too. And if your dog is getting bored with eating kibble, be sure to dine at Cucina Bella on N. Sedgwick or the branch on W. Diversey where he will be served a complimentary bowl of pasta.

New York
Some of the most fashionable hotels in this city can be a temporary home away from home for your dog, including the trendy Soho Grand Hotel. (For travelers who can’t bring their pets, the Grand offers a complimentary goldfish at check in, and will bag it for take-home.) Despite being a concrete jungle, there’s a lot for pets to enjoy in the Big Apple — a carriage ride through Central Park is a must-do activity. Many upscale stores also welcome well-behaved pets, and if Fido will sit quietly, you can drool over the jewelry at Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue. The NYC Dog Walking Tour visits such neighborhoods as Greenwich Village, Soho, Lower East Side and Little Italy. A special highlight is a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk. Be sure to visit the William Secord Gallery on East 76th St. that specializes in 19th Century dog art — your pooch is welcome to browse too. And if you want your dog’s portrait painted, it can be arranged it at a price.

Orlando, Fla.
Be sure to visit Sam Snead's, on E. Pine Street. It was here that Governor Jeb Bush signed Florida's doggy dining law that allows dogs to sit with their owners in an outside location. Both dogs and owners can have fun meandering the paved paths of the Paw Park of Historic Sanford and cooling off at the misting tower. Because of Orlando’s location to Disney World, Universal Studios and other theme parks, there are lots of pet-friendly hotels in the immediate area; and the theme parks will pet-sit your dog while you go off and enjoy the rides. One place dogs are especially welcome is in Celebration on U.S. 192, a tiny town created by Disney with a population of around 2000. Downtown Celebration is a lively mix of retail shops, restaurants, offices and apartments that line a wide promenade circling the lake in the center of town.

Colorado Springs, Colo.
Colorado Springs is all about nature and the great outdoors. Hiking and walking trails abound, making this an excellent pet destination. Pets are welcome at the Bear Creek Nature Center, as well as the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. Preserved under a protective red sandstone overhang, the authentic Anasazi dwellings were built more than 700 years ago. The Garden of the Gods Park is another popular natural landmark. With its towering sandstone formations, paved and unpaved hiking paths, it’s a great place to enjoy various outdoor amenities. Dogs are allowed off leash in the area east of Rock Ledge Ranch & south of Gateway Road. Tucked away in the foothills of the famous Pikes Peak region of the Rockies, your pet will be in the lap of luxury at the grand Broadmoor Hotel. This five-star resort is set in 3,000 acres of manicured gardens acres against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery. There are three golf courses, gorgeous shops and pet sitters on hand to give pet parents some alone time to enjoy any one of the complex’s 15 restaurants.

Austin, Texas
Austin boasts 12 off-leash parks for doggy fun and games. In particular, canines love to cool of in the natural creek in Bull Creek District Park and Greenbelt on Lakewood Drive. Pooches are also welcome to tour the city in a horse-drawn carriage, a popular pastime, so it’s best to call ahead. The Spider House Patio Bar and CafĂ© on Fruth Street, on the edge of the University of Texas campus, is a popular student hang-out and is reputed to make the best espresso in town. If you enjoy ribs (and what dog can resist) Artz Rib House on S. Lamar Boulevard will draw you with its irresistible aromas. Stock up on special treats such as PeaMutt Butter Pleasers and Yummy Chummies at the Groovy Dog Bakery on Baylor Street. Finally be sure to visit Plush Pad on W. Anderson Lane and buy your pooch a cowboy hat — a great souvenir to take home from the Lone Star State.

Happy travels!

Sandy Robins is an award-winning pet lifestyle writer. She is a member of both the Dog Writers Association of America and the Cat Writer’s Association of America. She lives in Southern California with a menagerie of well-traveled pets.

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